TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE — The family of stunt pilot Eddie Andreini, who died of burns after his 1944 Super Stearman biplane crashed at the Thunder Over Solano open house and air expo May 4 at Travis, has filed claims against the federal government seeking $10 million for Andreini’s wife Linda and $5 million each for his sons, Mario and Edward Jr.
Representatives of Andreini’s family filed the three wrongful death claims with Travis Air Force Base.
“Mr. Andreini died as a result of the rescue and firefighting services’ failure to extinguish the fire and rescue Mr. Andreini from the aircraft in a timely or reasonable manner in accordance with applicable standards, directives and orders,” the claims states.
The stunt pilot hit the runway during an inverted ribbon-cut maneuver and slid before stopping, according to the claims. Andreini was trapped in the wreckage and asked for assistance, the claim adds, and the aircraft caught on fire. He died of extensive thermal injuries, the claim states.
Staff Sgt. Patrick Harrower of the Travis Air Force Base Public Affairs Office, said Thursday, “Although we have no comment at this time, we will make every effort to release any information (about the crash) as it becomes available.”
The autopsy report, filed as part of the claims, states that Andreini’s body was under the burned aircraft.
Fourteen witnesses are listed in part of the claims. They include two colonels at Travis Air Force Base and Steve Stavrakakis of Wild Thing Airshows in Salida.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators concluded in a preliminary report that it took fire crews three to four minutes to get to the crash site.
Fire was seen in footage of the crash just before the aircraft came to a stop. Flames engulfed most of the plane’s right side within 50 seconds, according to the preliminary report.
Andreini, a regular performer at Travis’ open house air shows, was killed in the solo aircraft accident on the second day of the Thunder Over Solano event.
Ian Thompson and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.